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miércoles, julio 07, 2010

Good names for faceted search

Microsoft gives some advice on creating good names for facets in a faceted search - in the context of its new pivotviewer control.

Facet Naming

In general, you want concise and clear names for facets and facet categories that don’t get truncated in common usage. Below are some guidelines:

  • Capitalization – Facet categories should follow headline/title style conventions for capitalization. Facet values are case-sensitive, so make sure the values use consistent casing throughout.
  • Plurality - Use the singular form of the category name. For example: Rather than naming a category "Countries," use "Country."
  • Brevity and Redundancy - Use as few words as possible to name categories. Keep in mind that the user is already browsing within the context of your collection, so any concepts or words which inherently make sense in that context can be taken as implied. For example: in a collection named "Major League Soccer Players," a facet named "Player Position" could be shortened to "Position." A facet named "Average Points Scored per Game" could be "Average Points / Game," or simply "Average Points." Finally, use the active voice to avoid unnecessarily long phrases.
  • Acronyms - While they help with brevity, acronyms may add confusion. Avoid them where possible, unless you know that the target audience will be inherently familiar with them. Try using abbreviations instead.
  • Numbers - Use Arabic numerals ("1, 2, 3") rather than spelling them out ("one, two, three"). They’re shorter and easier to read quickly.
  • String vs. LongString - LongString is a special type only used for info panel content to be wrapped onto multiple lines. LongString should be used for any text longer than a few words.
  • Sorting Behavior - Sorting and grouping is strictly alphabetical. That means that when values starting with "The" appear in PivotViewer, they will be grouped with the T’s.

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